Americans Hate Tingle: Although the Darkstalkers series was a genuine hit in its homeland of Japan, with each of its 3 main games making the top 5 of its respective year's arcade income charts, it was never more than a Cult Classic internationally.
Awesome Art: The game is extremely stylish, from the varying artstyle to the top-notch animations and spritework. Capcom really put their guns on it.
Cult Classic: The Darkstalkers series has never seen the mainstream popularity that Mortal Kombat, Tekken, or even its sister series Street Fighter has gotten. But thanks to continued exposure of the characters through the Vs. Capcom series, it has a large, dedicated fanbase who loves its atypical characters and wishes the Capcom would continue the series.
Demitri: He won't stop at anything to achieve his revenge.
Morrigan: Her adoptive father wants her to be a legitimate hero for Makai, but she's just too "busy" shirking her responsibilities and having fun. However, she becomes less of this over time, especially after fusing with Lilith and feeling the need to actually be responsible. Her sister, Lilith, is slowly becoming one.
Donovan: He's more than a little of a Knight Templar, and his vampire side takes him over in his ending.
Draco in Leather Pants: Lilith is very well liked despite being a villain in the series. Mostly because she has a sympathetic backstory.
Morrigan. Although she is the most popular character in her series, she is shown to be among Capcom's most popular characters. To date, there are very few entries of the Capcom vs. Whatever series that she hasn't appeared in, mostly the "Street Fighter vs." games. This despite her being from a series that Capcom hadn't touched for 10 years, and since that point hadn't touched for 3 years.
Felicia. Though not to the level of Morrigan, she is very popular. Of all the cast, she's the one character most likely to appear alongside Morrigan in crossovers. Wonder why?
Lord Raptor/Zabel Zarock: his rock star nature and hilarious, hammy yet brutal quotes and fighting style have made him very popular amongst Western fans, many who wanted to see him in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 as DLC. He made it into Namco × Capcom and Project X Zone as one of the villains.
Demitri's a bit of an interesting case. Originally, he was the main protagonist of the series, but was later forgotten in favor of Morrigan. Nowadays, however, he seems to be picking up a bit in popularity, mostly thanks to his infamousMidnight Bliss attack. Made it into Capcom Fighting Evolution, Cross Edge (where he's actually mocked at one point by his fellow Darkstalkers for losing his protagonist status), and Project X Zone, where he's teamed with Dante of all people.
Also Morrigan (although she too subverts the "evil" part, and with much more certainty than Demitri).
Jedah, who—unlike Morrigan and (arguably) Demitri—plays the "evil" part straight. Mostly, anyway.
Fandom Rivalry: A one-sided variant with Street Fighter, as many Darkstalkers fans are incensed that the former keeps getting more and more promotion and games, while the latter is constantly screwed over and relegated to, if anything, appearances and cameos in crossover games. To put things in perspective, here's what was said at SDCC 2013 when Capcom announced that no new Darkstalkers games were planned...
Felicia and Jon Talbain. Almost every media adaptation has paired them up, or at least had them run into each other on a regular basis. Capcom does a suspicious amount of teasing with these two. Although there's nothing to suggest it in-game, in every Darkstalkers property outside of the games to which Capcom has given their stamp of approval, from the US cartoon series and OAV to the UDON comics, Jon and Felicia always share a bond of one variety or another; they're either friends, comrades in battle, traveling companions, or even living together. A manga from 1996 actually has the two sleeping together in the same bed.
Demitri and Morrigan. It's not nearly at the height of Felicia/Jon, but it does have a good share of vocal supporters.
You'd be surprised at how many times the pairing of Morrigan/Felicia pops up among the fandom. Morrigan's pet names for Felicia (apparently, Morrigan still calls Felicia "kitten" according to Cross Edge, and in Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Morrigan tags out with Felicia with the call of "Kitty!") do not help in the slightest.
Donovan/Hsien-Ko was likely started due to their interactions in the anime.
Mixed with Crossover Ship, Morrigan is frequently paired with Dante of Devil May Cry fame (potentiated by Marvel vs. Capcom 3). Along with Dante/Bayonetta, this ship seems to be more popular than all of the actual pairings in-universe for both series.
Game-Breaker: In Vampire Savior, the Darkstalkers game still most played by the competitive fighting community, Q-Bee, Sasquatch, and Talbain are infamous for being three of the most powerful characters in the game whilst also being some of the easiest. B.B. Hood also gets some hate for her "unblockable" (it's not really, but let's not get too technical here), and Lord Raptor is also extremely good, but he's also very hard to play.
I Am Not Shazam: The Bishamon in Vampire Savior/Savior 2/Hunter 2 and one of the Bishamon in 3 (as noted on the Characters page) is not the man who was enslaved by the will of his armor, but the armor itself having gained its own sentience.
Felicia. She suffers constant discrimination, abuse, and misunderstanding throughout the game franchise and the spin-off series, but still manages to keeps her cheerful attitude and hopes of a better future.
Jon Talbain used to be a normal nobleman until the night it was revealed he turned into a werewolf, everyone then treat him as an outcast even if Jon didn't have a malicious heart, only trying to control his beast impulses via Training from Hell. Just when he thought he has controlled the impulses fully, the adults still refuse him. Children does, but time by time, Jon still had to leave them to train lest he brutalizes them with his beast fury. Despite this, he never gave in to angst and continued to be a fearsome werewolf doing what he feels is right for those he cares for. And if you want to get meta, this may apply with how he's never been featured in crossovers despite fan demand, but any cameos he had made sure that his 'fearsome werewolf' feel is still intact.
Victor. His story may even edge out Donovan's as the most tragic in the series. At first, he believes his deceased creator to be ignoring him for not being strong enough. Shortly after the jarring realization that the old man had actually passed on, his sister suddenly ceases to function, leaving him alone once more (which is even more heart-crushing in the text epilogue of Night Warriors). Eventually, he realizes that the only way to revive Emily is to give his own life, which he does without hesitation. Worst of all, he is ignorant of the fact that her body, being a "prototype" of sorts, will probably not be able to continuously generate electric "life force" and is thus likely to run out of power before long.
Jerkass Woobie: Bulleta/B.B Hood. Her grandmother was killed by a werewolf, but still...
Yoshinori Ono's DARKSTALKERS ARE NOT DEAD announcement seems to be working its way up. In the case of MvC3 (with the possibility of an all Darkstalkers team of Morrigan, Felicia, and Hsien-Ko being defeated) and Resurrection's unfortunate commercial failure, this is sometimes twisted into DARKSTALKERS ARE DEAD.
Apparently the Shun Goku Satsu was even nicknamed "Goukiness Illusion" by some Japanese players at the time of its debut.
Despite what some may think, Dee, Donovan's evil form, was actually not something Capcom made just for the PS2 release. He was in fact an abandoned concept from the development of Vampire Savior. Producer Noritaka Funamizu specifically mentions this Demitri-headswap Donovan in the book All About Vampire Savior, and notes that he was "nearly finished."
One-Scene Wonder: Despite being in the first episode for all of ten minutes, Raptor's appearance was one of the highlights of the OVA.
Polished Port: The Sega Saturn port of Vampire Savior is not only arcade perfect, it even brings back the three missing characters from Night Warriors, complete with their own single-player endings. The PlayStation EX Edition port, while not as good by comparison, includes all 18 characters as well, plus both upgrades (Savior 2 and Hunter 2).
Rikuo. It usually has absolutely nothing to do with the actual character or the way he plays, but simply because he's a fishman with transformation abilities. Not helped by the fact he was the eighth opponent (the last before Huitzil and Pyron) in the original game and thus one of the hardest.
"Apparently the last member of his disgusting aquatic race, Rikuo (Aulbath in Japan) desperately searches the world in hopes of finding a hideous mate so he can repropagate his loathsome species. Yes, I am biased."
Scrappy Mechanic: In Resurrection, the YouTube upload function, since it only uploads in 360p resolution. Exclusive to the 360 version, however, is the high probability that your replay's audio will desync and a portion of the match will be cut off. And in some cases, the game won't let you upload replays at all. The option is permanently grayed out even after you link your Gamertag to your YouTube account.
"Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: The Darkstalkers series often comes across as "just another 90s fighting game" to those who first experience it now, likely because so many of the new things it brought to the table such as chain combos, guard cancels, air blocking, ES specials, improvedanimation, and a cast full of something other than the same old martial arts archetypes have now been copied by so many other fighters (including its own predecessor, Street Fighter.)
Apparently even some American game reviewers in the 90s didn't notice several of the mechanical differences from Street Fighter, so to some extent Darkstalkers was underappreciated in its time, too.
Spiritual Successor: Since Capcom has yet to actually make another game for this series, fans have had to turn to other alternatives. Two noteworthy successors in particular are Killer Instinct (2013) and Skull Girls, both of which have heavily-stylized non-human characters among its roster.
Anita. Played straight in both accounts: According to her backstory, her parents were killed by a Darkstalker and the people from the orphanage where she stayed shunned her as a witch. To make things worse, the only person that actually cared for her (in this case Donovan) sacrificed his last remains of humanity to protect her.
Dee's ending in the Japan-exclusive Vampire: Darkstalkers Collection: After killing Jedah, the game proceeds as though Dee (an evil version of Donovan) is about to fight a young woman who is not named, but is, in truth, an older Anita. The game fades to white before the fight begins, and as the credits roll, Anita is shown at a graveyard, suggesting that she ended the suffering of the man who once saved her soul.
They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: The third game in the series, Vampire Savior, received criticism from existing fans of the series at the time of its release. Complaints were made about many aspects of the game, including the changes to the system mechanics and movesets, the removal of characters from the previous games, and the addition of new characters who who many saw as out of place.
Tier-Induced Scrappy: Part of the hatred towards Jon Talbain is because he's powerful and easy to use. Many players consider it cheesy to use him.
What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: Despite the bright animation and lack of excessive blood, this game is not for children. The game has a huge amount of Fanservice, deep emotional stories, and brutal violence. It's actually a miracle that the series didn't get an "M" rating at all. Though to be fair, "M" rated games weren't popular yet when the series started out.
Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Lilith. Just take a look at her backstory. Played straight in her ending (Morrigan's ending, despite Lilith losing, offers a more satisfactory conclusion as Morrigan welcomes Lilith back into her body, resulting in a win-win situation for both of them: Morrigan's power gets exponentially multiplied (possibly reaching full level), and Lilith's sense of existence is assured).
Critical Research Failure: The very idea that the Darkstalkers franchise was marketed towards kids has become one of the biggest criticisms against the show. Arguably, this applies to all the characters too since the show ended up being an In Name Only product with little to no connection to the source material it was based on.
He Really Can Act: The voice acting is considered questionable at best and ridiculously narmy at worst... with one exception. While Scott McNeil's skill as a voice actor isn't in question (especially if you've heard his various other roles), his performance as Lord Raptor is considered a highlight and one of the show's legitimately good points, to the point that he was brought back to voice the character again in the english dub of Night Warriors: Darkstalker's Revenge and is considered the fan-preferred english voice for Lord Raptor in any media the character appears in.
Pyron's ship A.I. is a dead ringer for 343 Guilty Spark, right down to the Smug Snake personality, and they even have extremely similar voices.
Within the franchise, the episode with the Crystal Skull has Demitri using it to banish his enemies to another dimension. Then Vampire Savior comes and gives us Jedah's Majigen ("Wicked Dimension"), where most of the cast are drawn to.
The "you are curiously attractive for a fishman" line is even funnier after The Shape of Water came out.
Same for characters like Prince Sidon and Abe Sapien. Seems the trend lately is that fishmen being attractive isn't such a curious thing anymore.
Idiot Plot: The series finale involves Pyron's mean brother Terramon arriving to help his brother conquer the Earth since he's has failed at it himself. So instead of having Pyron tell his brother to get lost or challenge him over who gets the Earth, he instead invites all the Darkstalkers, both heroes and villains, to a fancy dinner party to prove to his brother that he's successfully conquered the planet by enslaving the other Darkstalkers opposing him in order to trick him into going away after his visit. Naturally, this doesn't work out.
Video-Game Movies Suck: Well, video game cartoons suck. This cartoon was unfortunately one of the many failed attempts to make a show based on a popular videogame. Screw Attack has listed it as one of the worst cartoons ever based on a videogame simply for making it unrecognizable to the source material entirely.